Comparing the Top 10 Live Streaming Solutions for Church Services in 2023
It’s not only businesses that have had to adapt to (and benefitted from) providing live streaming. Institutions, too, since the wake of the pandemic in 2020, have had to learn to adapt to a new, even more digitally connected world. Churches around the world have been such institutions. By reimagining what’s possible, they’re using technology to reconnect. By taking advantage of the power of live streaming, churches are connecting with more people than ever.
Traditionally, churchgoers found their place of worship by word of mouth. But the benefits of providing live streaming services have opened up the doors to millions to discover. By providing an online live-streaming platform, churches are attracting many more members. Longtime followers have new means of worship. They can attend even more. And curious new members have more opportunities to experience the church.
Are you a minister or do you help run your local church? With live streaming, you can broadcast all your special events. With live streaming services, geography is no longer a barrier. Weddings, baptisms, singing and more can be shared with all your members. Further, you open up your doors to the world. Using the right church services live-streaming software, you can bring new members into your church from far and wide.
By providing a live-streaming church service, you buffer your support for your members. The church is a place for members to go for solace when they need it. Using a live-streaming platform is one of the best things you can do for your members.
In this article, we’ll discuss how any church can broadcast its church services. We’ll detail step by step how to live stream church services online. And we’ll compare some of the best church streaming services solutions on the market.
Benefits of Live Streaming Church Services
Broadcasting a religious service offers many benefits for churches like yours. When you stream and broadcast a church service with a streaming platform, you can reach people who could otherwise not make it to worship with the community.
These could be people who are homebound due to an illness or injury, or people who are too old to drive themselves. People with disabilities also benefit from streaming church services.
The world is a global village now, thanks to the internet. Anyone with a connection can now be a part of your church, regardless of geographical limitations.
Members who have moved away but still want to be part of the church community can maintain their connection. This is also particularly helpful during global crises, like COVID-19, which we’re currently experiencing.
Some other benefits of live streaming church services include:
- Allow members who are sick or injured, too old to make it in person, or have a disability that makes it difficult to travel to watch your service.
- Helps members who are traveling and want to continue to participate in their own faith community
- Extends your reach beyond your local community and helps people to connect with one another
- Create a live stream of your sermon or broadcast a private event for members of your congregation who cannot attend
- Record your live streams and make them available as video on demand. This is also a great way to lock in the experience of each event forever. It allows people who missed the live event to watch it later on in their own time
- Mobilize your community for non-profit causes such as helping affectees of natural disasters or those less fortunate within your community
- Organize support groups for members who can’t easily reach the church. Such as single-parent support groups who might find it challenging to arrange babysitters
- Start mentor-ship programs within the community. Members might be more generous with their time if you can save them the hassle of commuting to and from the church
- Cement that sense of community while increasing the diversity among your church members. When belonging to a certain locality isn’t a pre-condition of belonging to your church, more people will be inspired to join. Making your community more accepting and inclusive.
It is also common to live stream the church’s Christmas programs and other special events. This allows the congregation to attend from home, and enjoy these special programs that occur during busy family times.
Church Live Streaming Statistics
In the past few years, churches and other places of worship have been turning to over-the-top (OTT) live-streaming technology to make services and events available over the internet. Here are a few streaming statistics and trends for why churches are opting to live-stream virtual services in 2023:
- Many churches are building online communities that could very well transition into in-person attendance, and 33% of churchgoers have found their current churches online, making live streaming for churches essential.
- About 20% report that they have opted to view the service online rather than in person, but they’ve only done this one or two times. 16% of these people say that they’ve opted for the online service three to five times, and about 14% have done it six or more times. That is still a significant number of people that you can reach through live streaming for churches
- Live streaming has allowed worshipers to simply turn on service on their phones, and 44% of people have said that they prefer to be alone while they pray and worship. This allows users to experience the structure of religious service from wherever they’re most comfortable, as opposed to in the traditional church setting. Church live streaming allows you to reach individuals who wouldn’t otherwise show up in person
- People feel more comfortable making payments online, and reports show that over $2.2 billion worth of donations to nonprofits were made in 2015 online. You can set up donations through the platform you use to live stream your church services, allowing people an easier method for donating.
How to Live Stream a Church Service
So you’ve decided to start live streaming for your church but don’t know where to start and what equipment you need? We’ve created this step-by-step how-to guide for you about how live streaming of church services works.
Keep in mind that, initially, change can often be an intimidating concept. Your church has held in-person services since its inception. It will take a while for everything to run smoothly, and there’s certainly a significant learning curve.
While it may seem overwhelming to figure out how to get your Sunday service online quickly, we’re here to help you. Please follow this church services live streaming tutorial to set everything up correctly.
1. Make a Plan
Planning can help ease any transition, and starting church live-streaming for your institution is no exception. Before you even touch the recording equipment, make a solid plan of what you need, your goals, and how much time it might take to reach your targets.
Start with a road map of where you are now and where you want to be. Take note if you already have church live streaming equipment available and what type of new video equipment you’d like to invest in.
Consider where you want to stream your sermon. What sort of features do you need to make this happen? This will determine the platform you end up using to live stream the church service.
Do you want to embed the sermon on your church’s website? Do you want to stream your sermon over a social media platform? Do you need a webpage for your live streams?
If you want to embed the sermon on your website, you need a service that provides you with an HTML5 video player and embeds code. If you want to live stream to more than one social media channel, you need a video service that offers multicasting or simulcasting. If you need a webpage for your live stream, look for a service that allows you to create a gallery for your videos.
2. Choose a Church Streaming Service
The next major decision you now have to make is selecting a streaming platform. What conspires as the ideal streaming service will vary from institution to institution. One thing is for sure, though, reliability can’t be compromised.
A reliable church streaming service is essential for hosting a professional-grade live stream. You will likely want a church streaming service that includes the following features:
- White-label HTML5 video player
- Customizable and brandable
- Supports multi-destination streaming
- Advanced video analytics
- Powerful security tools
- Robust content management system
- Easy-to-use interface
In addition to checking all of these boxes, you’re going to want to choose a church live streaming solution that fits your budget.
3. Prepare Your Setup
Your live stream will only be as successful as your work during the preparation stages. Choose a camera based on workflow requirements. Set up your camera with the view you want people tuning in to see.
Next, choose a video encoder. An encoder takes your video signal and converts it to a stream of data that can be sent over the internet. These are essential additions to live broadcast software for churches that you can use for encoding, but for the best quality, use dedicated encoding hardware.
Work on your lighting. When you work on your lighting within the church, your live stream will have a better-quality picture for those watching. Use a separate mix for your audio live stream by using an Aux mix output. Then you can mix it remotely for a better audio feed. This will ensure that you are able to provide viewers with a quality church live stream.
4. Test Everything
The best way to know how your planning will pan out during virtual church service is to do a ‘dress rehearsal’ before the event or sermon is broadcasted. Do a test run to make sure that all elements of your live streaming setup are ready to go. It is better to catch any snags in the system before you’re live in front of an audience.
Check your internet speed to make sure that it is fast enough to stream. As a rule of thumb, It is recommended that your upload speed is double the speed that you plan to stream with.
At this stage, we also recommend ensuring that you have the licenses that allow you to stream the copyrighted music that you’re streaming.
5. Start Streaming
Once everything is set up and working smoothly, it is time to get started. Create the stream, get the cameras rolling, and start streaming.
For more information, check out our series of videos dedicated to live streaming your church services.
Live Streaming Solution for Churches
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular streaming services that ministers and pastors can utilize to stream religious or spiritual services. We’re basing our comparison of live streaming for churches on the features of each online streaming platform.
It’s a Solution, Not an Online Service
It’s important to note that these platforms are not platforms where you can view live streams of church services. These platforms are hosting platforms for those looking for ways to stream their church’s service to their congregation remotely.
Live streaming solutions allow you to expand your reach and ensure everyone who wants to attend your live sermon is able to.
They provide you with the tools to reach a wide audience with your church’s live streams and events throughout the year.
This guide is designed to arm you with the tools and information you need to record and broadcast live streams of your church events without technical mistakes. It’s a guide to solutions and platforms available that will allow congregations to live stream their church services around the world during this time of need and after too.
Comparison of The 10 Best Church Streaming Services in 2022
With so many services and hosting platforms out there, which one best suits your church’s particular needs? The best way to determine that is by doing a short comparison of the top ten platforms and what they have to offer.
First up, we’ll take a look at our own online video platform.
Mslive specializes in live streaming for churches with plans starting at $39 a month.
Set at a competitive price point, the Mslive streaming platform offers a feature-rich and comprehensive solution for small to larger congregations.
Smaller churches with smaller bandwidth needs may prefer the Starter Plan ($39/month). It includes the same great features as larger churches on the Event or Scale Plans. Please, note that not all online video platforms (OVPs) offer such a starting plan at lower rates.
Additionally, Mslive makes it easy to learn the ropes of broadcasting as you test, set up, and start streaming, which is helpful for first-time church broadcasters via 24/7 support, a knowledge base of articles to get you started, and video tutorials.
All Mslive plans include content delivery with top-tier CDNs. With the reliability of a content delivery network, your viewers can watch your stream from all over the world by connecting to a server closest to them.
Mslive offers many features to make the transition to live streaming easier. Mslive also offers features that will enhance your live streams, ensuring that you provide your viewers with quality content.
Live Streaming and Video on Demand (VOD) Packages
With Mslive, we support both live streams and video-on-demand with our plans. What that means for your church is that you can stream live services and create pre-recorded content to share with your church members.
When you host a live event, you will more than likely want to have that video to watch later! With live recording, not only can you live stream your church’s events, but you can also record them.
Recording your live streams allows people who could not watch or attend when the event was happening live to still view and participate in the event. You can use live recordings to create a video library of services, bible studies, and youth group meetings.
With your church’s videos, you don’t want to have a bunch of other businesses’ branding all over your content. With Mslive, we offer a white-label service, which means our brand isn’t anywhere to be found.
You can customize the video player with colors and branding that make sense for your church.
With Mslive, you can offer your viewers an advertisement-free experience. The only way advertisements will end up on your videos is if you choose to monetize your content by using an advertising network. Otherwise, your content will always be ad-free.
Immersive Video Galleries
Need help displaying your content? With Mslive’s immersive video galleries, you can create immersive video galleries for displaying your church’s archived content. For example, you could make immersive video galleries for different types of content, such as:
- Sunday church services
- Wednesday church services
- Bible study groups
- Youth groups
- Child Ministry
You can give all your recorded live streams a home of their own with immersive video galleries.
24/7 Customer Support
At Mslive, we don’t expect you to be video experts, which is why we offer 24/7 support, so if you run into an issue, you can get the support you need in real-time.
A few additional noteworthy features that Mslive offers include:
- Top-tier content delivery networks (CDNs) help get your video files to your viewers quickly and efficiently.
- Multi-user access with our Scale and Custom plans, so the different church members who manage your video content can all have their own access.
- Video analytics dashboard so you can see how many people are watching and how long they are watching for, among other metrics. These analytics can help you shape how you promote and conduct your services.
- Privacy and security features so you can keep your content secure and control who sees it and how it is shared.
- Zoom live streaming so that you can enjoy the accessibility of Zoom with all the extra features of Mslive.
Compatibility with all devices allows people to watch your church’s content on computers and mobile devices.
- Starter Plan: $39/month (includes 1,000 GB of bandwidth & 50 GB of storage)
- Event Plan: $63/month (includes 6 TB of bandwidth upfront and 50 GB of storage)
- Scale Plan: $188/month (includes 24 TB of bandwidth per year and 1 TB of storage)
For more details, please visit our pricing page.
Mslive offers a solid in terms of live stream church services of all kinds. If you’re not very tech-savvy, you can still use the platform to record and stream videos successfully. Mslive offers premium features and unparalleled service at comparable rates. Its adaptability across devices of all types and constant support means any issues you might run into will be handled quickly and without disrupting the service.
StreamingChurch.TV is a church streaming service designed for church-related streaming alone.
This platform offers many “church-specific” features, including sermon notes, a map of church attendees simulating a live service, and more.
The map feature shows everyone in attendance and also groups them into a moderated chat, where individuals can discuss aspects of the live stream church service sermon. The Integrated Sermon Notes let you follow along as the sermon takes place, ensuring you don’t miss a moment.
StreamingChurch.TV does offer both live and VOD streaming, but only on Premium plans and above. In addition, this OVP offers embedding options to stream live video.
One significant drawback for some congregations is that StreamingChurch.tv does not stream content over a CDN. This can lead to poor video quality when there is a large congregation of viewers watching your broadcast.
Live stream support
Want to share content live? StreamingChurch.TV has the tools to help you go live.
You don’t have to worry about advertisements appearing during your live stream or church VOD content.
Unlimited Tech Support
StreamingChurch.TV offers unlimited tech support, allowing even beginner church members to get their streams up and running. They even have a dedicated Sunday morning support team to ensure your church service’s streaming goes off without a hitch.
All plans include unlimited streaming, allowing your ministry to grow without worrying about having enough bandwidth to support your live viewers.
Connect with Viewers
Church isn’t just about sitting and listening to someone talk; it is about the community. With StreamingChurch.TV, you can enjoy access to chat break-out groups. You can also send private chat messages to church members who are viewing online.
Plus, after you stream church service live, you can send automated follow-up emails after the service ends. This is a great way to get feedback on the experience, share news, or send a service summary.
Interactive map of attendance
You can see where people are attending the service live with an interactive map that allows viewers to pin their location, allowing you to see where everyone is at!
Integrated sermon notes
When you attend church live, you usually get a program to follow. That experience is duplicated with StreamingChurch.TV integrated sermon note feature, allowing you to add the program notes to the service.
Note that VOD, Ultra HD streaming, adaptive bitrate, and simulated live service features are available only on the Premium plan.
- Basic Unlimited Plan: $79/month
- Premium Unlimited Plan: $127/month
- Platinum Unlimited Plan: $179/month
After accessing the one-month free trial, all plans include a one-time $79 activation fee and unlimited bandwidth (except for 24/7 broadcast ministries).
A solid service designed specifically for churches and other religious institutions. It’s a no-frills, reliable platform with good video quality and scalability potential to stream live church services. One issue some users report is its lack of compatibility with CND. Its web page is also somewhat tricky to set up and operate.
3. BoxCast (Previously SundayStreams)
BoxCast is a live streaming solution that was built upon SundayStreams, which was devoted to churches and sermons. SundayStreams was acquired by Boxcast, which expanded its set of features to include a fully adaptive player and Google Analytics integration to access real-time analytics.
BoxCast has a good reputation for responding within 24 hours of a customer reaching out for support via email. However, if you want the guarantee of 24/7 customer support, you’ll want to consider other live stream church services platforms for live streaming of church services.
This option does offer a 90-day money-back guarantee, which you can learn more about here.
The greatest strength of BoxCast is its simplicity and ability to reach novice broadcasters.
- Ad-free streaming
- Easy embedding (stream from your website)
- Phone and email support
- Facebook and Twitter compatible
- Broadcast 24/7
- Mobile compatibility and customizable phone apps
- Analytics dashboards
- Essential Plan: $99/month
- Growth Plan: $149/month
- Experience Plan: $199/month
Please check out the BoxCast pricing page for an in-depth comparison of the plans.
BoxCast is a good service with outstanding customer support for streaming live church services. Their analytics offer great insight and feedback. Some users have expressed that add-ons for applications such as FireTV and AppleTV were on the pricier side compared to other in-class services. Overall, a good option for church services streaming live to a large audience.
ChristianWorldMedia offers affordable church streaming software and a lot of flexibility, making it a good option to consider for churches and congregations. With three different pricing options, even small religious communities can afford live streaming of church services with this platform. The online Bible integration feature can be very useful as well.
However, one setback of this platform is support for a limited number of viewers and abnormally low video quality. Before you commit to this platform, make sure that this won’t be an issue for your live stream church service.
- 24/7 streaming
- 50 simultaneous viewers per live event
- 2 re-streaming channels (minimum)
- Roku compatible
- Online Bible integration
- Social media integration
- Live Recording (Pro Plan only)
- Phone and email support (Pro Plan only)
- Unlimited archiving (Pro Plan only)
- Adaptive live transcoding (Pro Plan only)
- Basic plan: $35/month for 50 simultaneous viewers per live event and 2 re-streaming channels
- Basic+ plan: $59/month for 200 simultaneous viewers per live event and 3 re-streaming channels
- Pro plan: $89/month for 500 simultaneous viewers per live event and 4 re-streaming channels
Please check out the ChristianWorldMedia pricing page for additional information.
This platform is new in the streaming live church services scene and is on the smaller side. Even though it offers good features, its scalability is limited, and so is the video quality. Making it less suitable for church service live streams looking to cater to a larger audience.
In terms of live streaming solutions for churches, TruthCasting offers many features for broadcasting all of your church-related events. The pricing stems from how many members you have on-site, rather than the features you need. No matter how many members, as long as you do not exceed your number limit, you have access to all of TruthCasting’s available features.
Unfortunately, TruthCasting only supports churches with less than 2000 members.
However, this OVP does offer good quality support. In addition, they host their services with Amazon’s Web Services. If you have questions about their CDN, check out our live streaming CDN comparison.
- Ad-free streaming
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Embed code to stream live video on your website
- Reliable content delivery
- Phone support
- Live recording
- Compatible with all platforms, including iPhones and iPads
TruthCasting has a very simple all-inclusive pricing plan for $39.95 per month to stream church services live, which includes:
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited viewers
- Phone and email support
- Unlimited streaming
There is an option to add Facebook Live or YouTube Live for $10 per month.
TrueCasting offers a virtual church service at a very affordable price point. Many of the features it offers are up to mark, with other platforms charging a much higher fee. Its easy-to-use interface means even people with limited skills can record and upload decent-quality videos.
There are a lot of great options for live streaming for churches, and the 10 platforms we’ve discussed are the best ones to consider using for live streaming your church service. Consider membership costs, equipment needed, and technical support available to determine which platform offers a solution to your problem.
In addition, pay close attention to the live-streaming CDN when making your OVP decision. A top-tier CDN helps to ensure the best live-stream church service. Additionally, we recommend treating 24/7 customer support as a non-negotiable. This is key for live events during the weekend like your Sunday service and after business hours.
We recommend taking advantage of the many free trials offered by most live-streaming solutions.
There’s a growing wealth of live-streaming solutions for churches to choose from. All have their key benefits and things they don’t do so well. And they all vary with different price points.
Did you know that Mslive provides a powerful plethora of streaming options for churches? Mslive’s platform will allow you to record and broadcast all your spiritual celebrations. Mslive is an easy-to-use professional platform praised by institutions worldwide. And Mslive is equipped with quick and easy management, customization, and privacy features.
Make your sermons available for everyone. With Mslive, your reach is unlimited. Bring faith to people far and wide. Prepare, plan and set up your broadcasts quickly and effortlessly. Stream your sermons and special events seamlessly with Mslive’s professional and reliable platform. Share the link to your broadcast with worshippers and those still on the fence. With Mslive, you can continuously grow your house of worship’s outreach online. And there’s no limit to how many people you can touch.
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